Posted: 2:26 pm Saturday, March 15th, 2014

Sam Champion debuts new morning show ‘AMHQ’ on The Weather Channel March 17 

By Rodney Ho

Sam Champion, who spent a quarter century in the New York market and became a popular national weather beacon on “Good Morning America,” starts the next phase of his life in Atlanta at the Weather Channel as host of the new morning show “AMHQ” Monday morning, March 17.

The forecast is by no means clear that this will be sunny skies for Champion, who was used to being seen daily by six million viewers on “GMA,” the most popular morning show in America.

Sam Champion, his husband Rubem Robierb and two of his new "AMHQ" staffers Anaridis Rodriguez  and Maria LaRosa at the Four Seasons welcome party for him March 11, 2014. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Sam Champion, his husband Rubem Robierb and two of his new “AMHQ” staffers Anaridis Rodriguez and Maria LaRosa at the Four Seasons welcome party for him March 11, 2014. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

On the Weather Channel, he may be lucky to draw even one-tenth of that audience. But he’ll be on air a lot more, with his face on the marquee. In other words, he’s choosing to be a bigger fish in a much smaller pond.

It’s a pond he cares about because he loves the weather and he’ll be able to lean on a huge force of meteorologists who will cover his favorite topic with a vigor and rigor he could never get on a broadcast network.

You can read my full profile of Champion on our subscriber-only myajc.com site.

And here are photos of Champion on the new set of his new show.

Champion will now lead his own team, including Mark Bettes, Maria LaRosa and Anaridis Rodriguez from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. He hopes he can bring some of his “GMA” fans over while keeping the existing Weather Channel fans happy as well.

He is also settling into Atlanta, having rented a place with his husband Rubem Robierb in Midtown. And the Four Seasons feted him last Tuesday with a welcome to Atlanta party, where folks like Ryan Cameron of V-103, Mara Davis (“Atlanta Eats”), city councilman Kwanzaa Hall and former Channel 2 Action News anchor Monica Pearson showed up to wish him luck.

Doing a quick presentation in the ballroom, he introduced several members of his new family. He then flattered the invited guests and the city he has moved to. “You were brought here under false pretenses,” he said. “You think you came here to be guests for a party But you are actually here to be booked as guests on our show. You are Atlanta. You are the people who make the companies work here. You are the people who make the government works here. ‘The Today Show” is Rockefeller Center. “Good Morning America” I made about Times Square. It’s the crossroads to the world. This is our backyard. We have one of the best backyards here. You are our hometown. You are the hometown of AMHQ.”

Sam Champion with Monica Pearson. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Sam Champion with Monica Pearson. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Sam Champion greets Ryan Cameron of V-103. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Sam Champion greets Ryan Cameron of V-103. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Mara Davis of "Atlanta Eats" takes a self with Sam Champion. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Mara Davis of “Atlanta Eats” takes a selfie with Sam Champion. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

TV preview

“AMHQ” with Sam Champion, Maria LaRosa, Mike Bettes and Anaridis Rodriguez

7 a.m. to 10 a.m., weekdays starting March 17, The Weather Channel

17 comments
Carlitta
Carlitta

This is the most ridiculous new show.  This guy is arrogant and wrong for this role. Apparently he is not getting paid enough to buy the right shoes to match his suits.  What is with the running shoes!?!  Sam is certainly not athletic looking.  What exactly is his message?  He should probably have returned to another format, certainly not the weather channel.  His personality is not a good mix for the morning viewers.  He is better for late night TV after everyone has gone to bed. 

C-lynnDco
C-lynnDco

I love watching the weather channel in the morning, but ill be watching another channel since this loud, overpowering guy has come on. He's all wrong for the weather channel, bring back Bettus.

LolaRose73
LolaRose73

Well I'll be watching because that's one of the reasons I watched GMA because of Sam Champion Wishing you the best

aon
aon

I've missed Sam on GMA.  I am definitely going to watch.  

TripAffleck
TripAffleck

i should thank Sam Champion for putting the final nail in The Weather Channel's coffin. it has turned into the MTV of weather reporting; all reality shows and no weather. the last useful few minutes of weather information was the morning show, but he's come along to slap his glitzy "Weathertainment" crap all over that too. now i never have to tune in again.

almmanduane75
almmanduane75

Never heard of the dude til I saw him on Piers Morgan last week.


He made sure the whole world knows he's gay and the wife.

tarly
tarly

I almost feel sorry for the guy.  He had a prime gig with GMA on ABC.  I wonder if he knew TWC would lose 20 million potential viewers from DirecTV when he signed his deal.

Hank_Hill
Hank_Hill

I haven't watched The Weather Channel since they fired the lovely Kristina Abernathy, a real meteorologist, and got on the bandwagon for Al Gore's global warming hoax.


I get my weather from AccuWeather, where they do this thing called reporting the weather.

FarTrain
FarTrain

Wait, wait, wait just a dang minute.  Did that say "HIS husband"?  Something tells me he is gay.  Why is Champion not the husband?  How do they decide that?   Well, I know what I WON'T be watching now.  Thanks for the info.  Besides he has no idea what a "hard-break" or "cutaway cue" is.  I saw him numerous times during Storm Pax miss his cues. He got cut off so many times I stopped counting.  Tells me he is non-professional, even with all his years.

AtlantaGeorgia
AtlantaGeorgia

I won't be watching. He lacks a seal. Plus, TWC still doesn't give studio tours-that's not viewer friendly. Also, when on-air, they try and down play their ATL presence. He should've stuck to GMA. And, I feel like TWC gave Al the shaft. Sam seems like a decent person though but I won't be watching.

Carlitta
Carlitta

@TripAffleck I agree with all of your comments.  What were the tops dudes thinking when they brought in this bozo?

TripAffleck
TripAffleck

@FarTrain  you do sound like you know what you're talking about when it comes to broadcasting; but then it's negated by your moronic gay comments. here's a tip; talk about what you know and keep your bigoted editorializing to yourself; you never know when a potential employer may hear or read your buffoonery..

Atlantarama
Atlantarama

@FarTrain  What century are you living in? Yes, he's gay, and obviously, there's no "wife" in a male gay marriage, so they didn't have to "decide" anything.

FarTrain
FarTrain

@TripAffleck @FarTrain    "bigoted editorializing"?   Based on your statements here, if you check the definition of the word "bigot", you will find you are a "bigot" also.  I don't deny that I am in this area, as my morals, principles, ideology, biblical beliefs etc. all keep me from condoning or accepting such an unnatural and perverted lifestyle. But, those on the other side, such as yourself, are bigoted due to your non-acceptance of an opposing belief or opinion.  You, and others, think you're right and it has to be your way to make it equal, and that's not necessarily so. Those of us who oppose,  for various reasons, have the right as citizens of a free country to do so, AND we DO NOT have to keep quiet about it.  I do not,  as you would like, have to keep my opinions to myself.  They are just as valid as yours are.  Do I make that perfectly clear, PERIOD !

vulpecula
vulpecula

@FarTrain

Bigot, plain and simple. And as for your "Christian" morals and beliefs, I bet they are subjective to you own personal prejudices. Do you stone women to death these days? Times change my friend and society progresses whether others choose to stay in the dark ages or not.